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Introduce Yourself Neighbor!
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  • Introduce Yourself Neighbor!

    Post #1 - August 17th, 2004, 11:19 am
    Post #1 - August 17th, 2004, 11:19 am Post #1 - August 17th, 2004, 11:19 am
    Hi,

    I'm Cathy2, but in the real world I am a Catherine, except to my family and close friends where I am Cathy. My Mother is Cathy1. My best friend growing up was also a Cathy. Under these circumstances, I got pretty used to being the other Cathy or Cathy2. However, had I known how much traction Cathy2 would have, believe me I would have been more careful in choosing a screen name.

    My introduction to our chowist community was the Chicago Tribune article on the All-Night-Athon from 2.5 years ago. While reading the article, I immediately recognized JustJoan as someone from Culinary Historians. It's easy when the only pastry chef you know is named Joan. I lurked for maybe a week, then began dipping my toe into the pond. I do what I have always done, but now have buddies to join me and like-minded people to report to and interact with.

    Clearly, I have always been leaning into this food-obsessed direction all my life. I cooked my first egg when I was 3, my parents weren't ready to feed me but I couldn't wait. I made my first Thanksgiving turkey with Chestnut stuffing at 13. Gourmet assumed you knew what you were doing and never explained how to open the chestnuts. I spent several evenings with a knife working on those puppies. After it was done, I read in the Joy of Cooking to cut an 'X' before baking for 15 minutes at 275, then peel. This experience launched me into collecting cookbooks as I did not want to re-invent the wheel. I started to collect wild mushrooms so I could cook them. I became a Master Gardner while waiting to be a Master Food Preserver with the University of Illinois Extension. All the time I was in the Soviet Union, I was endlessly cooking for my sanity as well as my friends pleasure. My Soviet food adventures became a talk at Culinary Historians, which I will be presenting again for Mensa in October.

    So being an LTHforum moderator/participant isn't too much of a stretch.

    So please do tell me about yourself.
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #2 - August 17th, 2004, 11:59 am
    Post #2 - August 17th, 2004, 11:59 am Post #2 - August 17th, 2004, 11:59 am
    What a nice idea!

    I'm "eatchicago" on the food-web, but Michael in the real world. I was introduced to this community when I was starting my own website and searching for other like-minded people. I came across Chowhound, and VitalInfo shortly thereafter (this was about 6 months ago).

    The reason that I started my own weblog was because I had become increasing inundated with requests from friends and family for dining recommendations. My reputation for being a discerning critic had grown in certain circles and people began to trust my opinion. So, I started to keep a small notebook of places I liked for different situations. The natural extension of this notebook was to make it public, searchable, etc.

    I was raised in West Rogers Park, one block from Devon & California. The vast array of dining options in the area molded my culinary curiosity. Hashalom, Villa Palermo, and Hyderabad House were my childhood replacements for Denny's and McD's. When my friends were heading to Poppin' Fresh on Western, I was riding my bike north to the Fish Keg.

    I am continuously astounded by what this city has to offer the curious palate, and I have found the group of people on this board to be friendly, knowledgeable, and interesting.

    When I am not cooking or eating, I am working as a software engineer. I am also an avid cyclist, reader, and I am involved in a couple different charities. Hopefully, my extremely busy schedule will allow me to make an LTH gathering sometime soon.

    Best,
    EC
  • Post #3 - August 17th, 2004, 2:01 pm
    Post #3 - August 17th, 2004, 2:01 pm Post #3 - August 17th, 2004, 2:01 pm
    I, girlmoxie, am Ann. I've been lurking at chowhound for about two years, and here almost from the start, but didn't register until recently. At some point in the last few years, I realized that I spent a large amount of time thinking about my next meal, inventing recipes in my head, and searching out new tastes. I also discovered that the only romantic relationships I had that lasted more than a date or two were with people that also spend a lot of time thinking, reading, and talking about food. Though it doesn't follow the pattern, I married a man with a very limited palate. This means that I go out for meals on my own or with friends a lot.

    I grew up in Chicago Heights, a southern suburb of Chicago, where pretty much everyone but me was Italian. It was from watching my friends' parents cook (my mother was a dreadful cook), and watching Julia Child on PBS, that I learned to cook. I'm still not great at it, but I have enthusiasm.

    There used to be a restaurant review section of my personal website, but I removed it because I have no talent for writing about food, and I wasn't saying anything that hadn't already been said. Therefore, I read a lot here, but don't post much.

    In the backyard of my new apartment in Albany Park, I have a small vegetable garden where I'm growing pumpkins, green beans, squash, peppers and 6 different varities of tomatoes, in addition to a window box jammed with herbs. I'm looking forward to cooking with it all.

    This is my last year in Chicago before I move out east for graduate school, so I'm hoping to make it a very chow-filled one. From what I can see from the upstate NY chow boards, I'll need to. At the moment, I work as an office manager in Lakeview, but I'm desperately looking for a new job.

    Thanks for asking!
    Last edited by girlmoxie on August 17th, 2004, 2:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #4 - August 17th, 2004, 2:28 pm
    Post #4 - August 17th, 2004, 2:28 pm Post #4 - August 17th, 2004, 2:28 pm
    Definitely a good idea, Cathy! Anyway, my name is Kim and I grew up in Itasca. I now live in the N/NW burbs, but since Itasca and where I am now, I have lived in Milwaukee, Evanston, Grayslake, Dallas, Cary (twice), St. Louis (twice) and Denver. Almost lived in Dallas twice as well.

    I grew up surrounded by good food and good Chow experiences. I think I started eating escargot when I was around 5 simply because my dad ordered some in a restaurant and asked me if I wanted to try them. I did, and away we went. Of course I also tried to order a martini like he was having but that didn't fly. My dad was raised in central Georgia so I was lucky enough to experience the best fried chicken, biscuits, pecan pie, greens (from my grandma's garden right to the pot), cornbread, hushpuppies, barbecue, Brunswick Stew, you name it. We even had a welder friend make a rack for us so we could do our own pigs in our back yard.

    Another turning point in my food life was getting my apartment in college. After two years of dorm food the prospect of cooking was heady. My Mom gave me a copy of "Joy of Cooking" to get me started and I used to read that like a novel. Soon I was having my friends over for stuffed Cornish game hens. Then I started swiping my Mom's copies of "Bon Appetit" when I was home for visits. After that she got me my own subscription.

    I think it was moving to Dallas that made my husband and I realize how we had been spoiled by the food in Chicago. Even the places the Dallas-ites were raving about couldn't hold a candle to what we had here, not to mention what we would have done for a decent beef sandwich or Chinese take out.

    I heard about Chowhound when the Tribune wrote that infamous article. It had it's ups and downs, but I use it as a compliment to this site. Given the places we've lived, I also like to check out Chowhound SW.

    Of course I'm now training my 12 and 16 year old sons to be hounds. Given that Chinatown is one of their favorite destinations, I think I'm doing ok.

    Aside from hanging out here, I spend a lot of time volunteering at a no kill animal shelter in the far north suburbs. I give presentations both on and off site about what we do. The place is very near and dear to my heart as it's where we got our chocolate Lab. I also ride horses and train to be competitive, love to snow ski and hike. In my previous life, I worked in advertising as an agent that represented photgraphers and illustrators.

    Nice to meet you all!
    Last edited by Kwe730 on August 18th, 2004, 8:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #5 - August 17th, 2004, 4:45 pm
    Post #5 - August 17th, 2004, 4:45 pm Post #5 - August 17th, 2004, 4:45 pm
    I have always lived within 20 miles of downtown Chicago.I currently am close to Devon and Western.A little North.I read mostly non fiction but do not get to read as much as I like.Musical tastes run from Brook(e) Benton to OutKast.My wacky outlook has been blamed on being dropped on my head too many times to count.I look like Gidget after the ravages of time and a lomg term diet of 7 cheesesteaks daily with quadruple cheese.And hattyn is an acronym.
    Last edited by hattyn on August 17th, 2004, 8:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #6 - August 17th, 2004, 8:05 pm
    Post #6 - August 17th, 2004, 8:05 pm Post #6 - August 17th, 2004, 8:05 pm
    I'm Ed, and, at the tender age of 22, I'm one of the youngest regular posters here.

    I started posting on chowhound in mid 2003, and had probably been lurking for a few months prior. I think I heard about it when an NPR correspondent visiting Cinncinatti called Jim Leff for chow advice.

    I currently work in the Wicker Park/Bucktown area (and sometimes near McCormick Place) as a systems administrator, keeping a somewhat popular website online 24/7. I live in Logan Square with my dog, and, on weekends, my canadian mail-order-girlfriend.

    I grew up in Oak Park to two food-loving parents who, despite their palates, didn't cook with olive oil or real butter until I moved back home after a year at my first college and started buying it. My mom is Ann Fisher, who posts here a fair amount.

    -ed
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #7 - August 17th, 2004, 9:07 pm
    Post #7 - August 17th, 2004, 9:07 pm Post #7 - August 17th, 2004, 9:07 pm
    I am JiminLoganSquare, and yes, my name is Jim and I live in Logan Square. I grew up in Indianapolis with a Kentucky-bred father and a grandmother whose father came over from England as a Methodist minister in the late 19th century and settled in Maysville, KY. That genetic line kept the Southern and English flames burning (on the father's side). And then there's that deeply Hoosier farming family (Bavarians who settled in Pennsylvania in 1728 then migrated westward) on the mother's side. Thus my affinity for grits, fried chicken, plum pudding (which strangely I do know how to make) and noodles (which I really don't know how to make at all).

    I am an environmental attorney and have been doing that since '97. Before that, I had delusions about an academic life and actually managed to snag a Master's in Philosophy from Indiana University before getting more practical.

    I've lived in "Chicagoland" since 1991, and been a regular visitor since '87. I found out about Chowhound in the summer of '03. I foolhardishly began posting there immediately and have not looked back.
    Last edited by JimInLoganSquare on January 12th, 2013, 9:37 pm, edited 4 times in total.
  • Post #8 - August 19th, 2004, 10:08 am
    Post #8 - August 19th, 2004, 10:08 am Post #8 - August 19th, 2004, 10:08 am
    I learned of the chow community from Dickson's daughter, one of my daughter's friends. She heard me critiquing our meal at Cheeseburger in Paradise and suggested the infamous website that led me here. I love escaping into LTH Forum, not only for the food-related ideas and suggestions, but also to read your writing. Each day I learn something new and someone makes me laugh with his/her quick-witted writing style.

    I grew up in Rochester, MN. As a teen, I read Bon Appetit and poured over cookbooks as if they were racy romance novels. I have always enjoyed learning about other cultures. I was in the first co-ed class at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul. (90 women, 2,000 men,) In college, I had the opportunity to go to school in London for a semester. We had a month free to travel, so I backpacked my way through Europe. Bitten by the travel bug, I lived in Madrid the summer of my junior year in college.

    Now I'm a single mom with three teenagers living in Naperville. How did that happen? Oh well, we find that the pages of our own lives are often different from the ones we imagined in our youth. Though my traveling days now seem a distant memory, I still crave adventure and discovery. I majored in journalism and I have a master's in education. I have worked as a writer and as a teacher. I now recruit for a large insurance company. My brother-in-law is my boss and one of my best friends. No matter my occupation, it is important for me enjoy my work and I do.

    I grew up in a family of five kids. My mom is Irish and French and my dad is German. I learned early on that meal planning, shopping and cooking brought appreciation and praise. My brother and sisters didn't really share my interest in this area, so I often planned theme meals for seven + our friends and it was happily consumed by all.

    Though no one wanted to watch the Galloping Gourmet with me as a child, my youngest dayghter loves learning about food and cooking. Just last night she was begging me to watch Iron Chef. We'll discuss Check Please and watch cook-offs on the food network. I'm probably a bit of an oddity on this site, because though not a vegetarian, I'm not a big fan of meat. I'm also in Weight Watchers. (Probably due to my food focus). I used to run 36 miles a week. Now I spin or ride my bike outside.

    Reading is another passion. I just finished Their Eyes Were Watching God and I loved it. (other titles I've enjoyed recently : The Devil in the White City; Isaac's Storm; Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith; A Virtuous Woman; & Naked). I'm currently reading A Chance Meeting: Intertwined Lives of American Writers & Artists 1854-1967.

    Films are another area of interest. I see several movies each weekend. I love foreign film and old black & white movies. I even enjoyed Harold and Kumar go to White Castle. My tastes are eclectic in music too. I played the piano for 13 years and that led to appreciation of all types of music.

    Thanks to all of you for sharing a slice of your lives.
    Last edited by janeyb on February 22nd, 2008, 1:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.
  • Post #9 - August 19th, 2004, 4:41 pm
    Post #9 - August 19th, 2004, 4:41 pm Post #9 - August 19th, 2004, 4:41 pm
    Hi -- I'm Bacchus (a/k/a Bryan). I was born and raised in New Orleans where I learned at a young age the joy of eating. My parents always loved telling friends and family that strangers would often approach them while we were eating out to say how much they enjoyed watching me eat as a young child because I'm seem to be so in to it! :) As it turned out, I was approached on three separate occasions this weekend by strangers in regards to my 10 year old son. :o

    I'm a amateur cook and, in my spare time, an attorney. Before that a reasearch chemist for a major tire company in Akron. I was introduced to chowhound in late 2002/early 2003 by another firm attorney and have been addicted ever since! Now, I spend most of my spare time driving all over town tracking down all the restaurant and other food/cooking related places disclosed on chowhound and LTHforum. I've lived mostly in the loop since moving to Chicago in 1988, but did lived in Evanston for about 4 years.

    Chowhound extended my food horizons beyond my wildest imagination and I will be ever in your debt. The tips I've gotten here and on Chowhound has definitely made me a much better cook as well. I wasn't actually a pushover even before Chowhound 8). Thanks for being there for me!
    -Bac

    Everything is unfolding as it should
  • Post #10 - August 19th, 2004, 8:44 pm
    Post #10 - August 19th, 2004, 8:44 pm Post #10 - August 19th, 2004, 8:44 pm
    Howdy, I'm Joel, going by JoelF here because there was another frequent poster using Joel on Chowhound.

    I started hanging around here during the "great exodus" because while Chowhound is still useful and interesting, this is a community with interesting discussions, and is structured to make discussions easy.

    I started hanging around on Chowhound when a friend pointed me there to find places to eat when we went to Vegas in January (lost about $10 on nickel slots -- you can't find a $2 blackjack table during CES).

    I enjoy eating, perhaps a bit too much, although I've been getting the side effects under control lately (17 lbs down, 23 to go). Food has always been important in our family -- it's the major part of our participation in Jewish culture. My mother catered, I have a first cousin who's a chef... and my winter holiday parties are legendary for the recipes I come up with (The Euro/Japanese year was classic: Gyoza filled with creme de crecy, bruschetta topped with seaweed and shiitake).

    I eat out partly to find out what I want to cook, and to adventure from there into unknown territories. I love to research stuff on the net and off, and food and recipes are a big part of that.

    My wife Sue (although I refer to her as Mrs. F here) runs an internet-based children's bookstore, so cookbooks are easy to get cheaply from our distributor. Always something interesting to read there.

    On the other hand, I get some goofy stuff too: anyone interested in a copy of "Ruby Ann's Down Home Trailer Park BBQin' Cookbook" by Ruby Ann Boxcar? It's signed and kissed by Ruby Ann, but there's nothing in there I'd ever cook. Free to a good home.
  • Post #11 - August 22nd, 2004, 8:46 pm
    Post #11 - August 22nd, 2004, 8:46 pm Post #11 - August 22nd, 2004, 8:46 pm
    As my chowism has become more organized, I have sometimes wondered how far it goes back. Certainly since I moved to Chicago 17 years ago, ostensibly to further my advertising career, actually to eat deep dish pizza and be able to go to foreign films without having to start the film society and run the projector myself (all of which I actually did). Participating in online food fora has certainly ramped my chowism up, not to mention my understanding and knowledge of what the heck's in front of me, but long before then I was at least checking out Mexican food in Pilsen, and bravely but hopelessly trying to make sense of the jumble of little plates of weird stuff in Korean restaurants, and so on. And, at the other end of the scale, at least once in a great while trying a Trotter's or an Everest Room (not to mention organizing a trip to France around reservations at Ducasse and L'Esperance, and so on). Indeed, at a dot com job a few years back, my friend Wyatt and I were known as "the incredibly expensive lunch club" for the way that, if anyone suggested, say, Panda Express for lunch, we would counter with Bistro Zinc or the Cape Cod Room.

    Before moving here, to the tiny extent that there was much ethnic food in Wichita, where I grew up and worked after college, I was the person who sussed it out-- Vietnamese, Greek, Lebanese, whatever dim hope of differentness and culinary interest might be found somewhere in a city otherwise known for one or more of every franchise on earth. Though it must also be admitted that I spent far too many lunches at Wendy's, Pizza Hut, or eating for lunch a supposedly dietetic turkey sandwich at a place called Terri's Diner (which was so ordinary and forgettable that despite probably eating there 250 times, I can no longer remember where it was). I also-- this is a slightly more poignant note-- once took a trip to New York with a friend, and made reservations for what was then an outrageously expensive dinner, about $75 per person, multiple courses paired with different wines (what a novelty). A very grownup thing to be doing at 24 or so, earning something in the extremely low five figures. And the restaurant? Cellar in the Sky, located within Windows on the World, my only trip to the World Trade Center (a complex I otherwise ignored on subsequent trips to New York City, so that all I remember of those absent landmarks is a portion of turbot in a greenish sauce, paired with a very nice French white).

    Although in high school I ate far too much at McDonald's-- where I worked, at the absolute nadir of the polyester-based uniform era:

    Image

    --still, my childhood was not without a considerable degree of culinary sophistication compared to my peers. My mother had the usual devotion to learning French cooking a la Julia Child circa 1970-- serious cooking out of books was present enough in our lives that I, as a 9 or 10-year-old, was aware of it when Michael Field, a popular chef and author of the 1960s, dropped dead at a relatively young age; and the family well remembers the serious day of labor she once put into Julia's duck a l'orange, which came to disappointment in the end when we realized that there was about as much meat on an entire duck as on a single chicken thigh. But besides such attempts at sophistication, she took her German Mennonite ancestry seriously in cooking matters though the rest of that faith and lifestyle had fallen by the wayside generations back; she still issues my sisters and me Christmas cookbooks full of recipes for vareneky and pluma moos and such things, and would inflict borscht, boiled tongue etc. on us for dinner as often as other moms made casseroles with crumbled potato chip tops.

    My father, though happy with a steak for dinner most nights, was a great fan of Jewish deli food, truly an extraordinary taste to have developed as an Irish Catholic in the middle of Kansas, where a deli would open for about three months every three years before failing in the face of complete indifference to its offerings from any goys but us. And then there's the fact that as a small child, my favorite food is supposed to have been green olives. So even as I stuffed myself with Ho-Hos and Space Food Sticks like any child of my times, I was at least exposed to other things, aware of them, and-- unlike most of my peers-- experiencing food as something to be thought about, rather than just fuel to be inhaled whole.

    Which brings me, at last, to what is perhaps my Ur-chow memory. I went camping for a day with my friend Louis Podrebarac (this is perhaps first grade), and on the way back we stopped at a place downtown that was supposed to have the best hamburgers in town, according to Louis' father. Why a German immigrant doctor who had fled the Communists in the 1950s was supposed to know about the best hamburgers in a Kansas town was a mystery to me; arguably I could have done better just asking my own grandfather for guidance, since he'd owned a burger stand in the 1950s, but in this case Herr Doktor Podrebarac's instincts were right. Bill's Big 6 was a revelation, a melding of cheese and grilled onion and beef and bun that was light years beyond the McDonald's hamburgers (and their imitations at other local chains like Sandy's and Griff's) I'd had before. (In fact, years later working at McDonald's, I would often grill onions for my own Quarter Pounders, and believe you me, they were the best Quarter Pounders anyone ever ate.) Being 7 at the time, I had no way of getting myself back to Bill's, so it was probably 7 or 8 years before I went looking for that little white hamburger stand somewhere downtown next to a building with white columns (a funeral parlor, I think). But I kept the legend of Bill's alive in my heart all those years, as representing how much more the simple and humble hamburger could be in the hands of a master.

    Years later I would pay tribute to Bill Lamb, protege of the great Ralph Baum, Bataan Death March survivor, irascible Archie Bunker type, noble burgermeister, and perhaps the man most responsible for awakening my awareness of food, in a comic I spent way too much of the 1980s drawing called The Hofmeyer Chronicles. In it, society has collapsed in that usual Road Warrior post-apocalyptic kind of way, and a scientific institute in New York sends two field researchers out to find out what's going on in the rest of the country. Hofmeyer, the one who looks like me, is a bit clueless about real life, hence the affected Kansas dialect he speaks in trying not to arouse suspicion when he makes first contact with someone in Kansas:

    Image

    The jetblack toupee on a man at least in his 60s, and the jumpsuit, would have been instantly recognizable to any true food enthusiast in Wichita.
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  • Post #12 - October 19th, 2004, 10:15 pm
    Post #12 - October 19th, 2004, 10:15 pm Post #12 - October 19th, 2004, 10:15 pm
    Sick and bored so here goes.I learned to read and write upside down working on the crossword puzzle while my dad read the clues.And have had some success working on the patternless puzzle.I have dreams of being the female Mike Brady.I usually keep a sketch pad with me to work on architecture ideas altjough this is totally unrelated to the fields I have studied and worked in.We listen to WRLL and WJMK so I am familiar with alot of the 'oldies.'Books and music might actually be my greatest loves.Yes,before food!
  • Post #13 - October 20th, 2004, 2:08 am
    Post #13 - October 20th, 2004, 2:08 am Post #13 - October 20th, 2004, 2:08 am
    I have a little time on my hands tonight so i guess it is as good a time as any to participate here in hopes that it will bring in even more participants.

    I was born and raised on the northwest side in a neighborhood that still identified itself by parishes (we where st roberts, our arch nemisis being st constance) and where you where either the polish kid, the italian kid, the greek kid or the irish kid. I was the polish kid (and still am despite the fact that it was just this summer that I found out that my great grandparents came here as children in the 1850's and where buried at st adelberts).

    Strictly working class kids of working class parents. In fact hard, almost brutal working class conditions compared to today. But when everyone around you doesnt have much everything just seemed normal. We all ate simply, and it was nothing special to stay over for dinner at someones house. That is how I got to enjoy some very different cusines from the standard polish-american fare my mom cooked. Mrs O'Hare, god rest her soul, was always good for a ham or roast beef dinner. And an endless supply of boiled potatoes. She had to serve in shifts as there where 7 kids and 3 adults besides any visting kids. The men and children with jobs ate first. And tea was the hot drink of the house.

    It was a different story at the Colatos home, my good friend billy's mom would make dolmades and spanokopita on weekends in between working double shifts at Mars. And the meals where about as boisterous as depicted in the greek wedding movie.

    Mrs Gander cooked more or less like my mom ,polish american fare. But she had a hot meal on the table every day for her husband and 2 boys. And she left for her night job as a cleaning lady at the bankers life building without being able to sit down and enjoy it with her family.

    It was because of Mrs Lamanna that I found out that there is more to italian food than pizza and spaghetti. And god bless her she hooked me for life. Every time I ate at my friend freds house I would always have to ask her "This is great, what is this?" And she would answer appropriately, taking time to explain what the dish consisted of. Canneloni, Lasagna, braciole!! How come I had never heard of this stuff?

    The answer to that was simple, we had little privleges and ordering or eating out wasnt one of them. Dont get me wrong I am not crying poverty here, this is just how it was. My brother and I still kid to this day that we had no idea you could get anything other than chop suey from a chinese place until we where adults. On special occasions, perhaps 1 friday a month my dad would bring home chop suey and rice for dinner. Or sometimes we would get in the car and go to Henry's hamburgers. So eating out was strictly a special occasion thing.

    I told you all of this so you can imagine how the world of chow started to blossom before me when i became a wage earner with some disposable income at the age of 9. The first nickel I ever earned was delivering and collecting door to door for the Jeff park press, or "PRESS" as we would announce when ringing the door to collect. What irked me about it all was I had to deliver to everyone but payment was voluntary. I couldnt muscle the customer to pay his bill yet if i skipped him on my route i heard about it. What can a kid do but take it, the only other position available to a 9 year old was altar boy and that work wasnt steady and payment was also voluntary. Well I took that first nickel and rode over to Ray's Red Hots, montrose @ central in the center of the C Davis rentalplex. .35 cents for a dog and fries and i was ready to go collect from more deadbeats.


    It wasnt long before I discovered what a "beef" and "combo" sandwich was. And that there was something called sweet and sour pork that certainly tasted a helluva lot better than chop suey. And I finally found out what that huge pillar of meat in the place that sold gyroscopes was all for. My eyes where opened and there was no turning back. By the time I was driving I was already driving out of my way to find what other foodstuffs where out there. Sausages that where not polish? ducks hanging in the window, your telling me that there is bbq pork in that dinner roll? What planet was I on? I had a lot of catching up to do and I hadnt even found out about mexican food yet!

    So the last 30+ years have been spent searching, experimenting, regretting and enjoying every minute of this fascination. Among my regrets is not having found sites like this closer to the beginning of the internet age as it has become a valuable resource and sounding board. Sorry to have gone on so long.

    bob
    Bob Kopczynski
    http://www.maxwellstreetmarket.com
    "Best Deals in Town"
  • Post #14 - October 20th, 2004, 9:24 am
    Post #14 - October 20th, 2004, 9:24 am Post #14 - October 20th, 2004, 9:24 am
    Bob,

    Much of what you say mirror's my Mother's experience who was born in the tail end of the Depression to Irish immigrant parents. She was a St. Veronica's Parish girl, who walked a considerable distance to school everyday because it was the Irish parish, yet a Polish Catholic church was just minutes away.

    My Mother goes into vivid detail about the food eaten at other people's homes. In particular is a Mrs. Guth who was Hungarian with all the Goulashes, potato pancakes and homemade donuts, who seemed to cook up a storm whenever time and funds allowed.

    My Grandparents were the roasts, pan fried chicken, ham, mashed potatoes and Irish Soda Bread. My Grandmother's fit of fancy was to use golden raisins alone or mixed with dark. She worked for a caterer for a while and learned to make radish roses, otherwise it was strictly meat and potatoes fare.

    My Mother grew up in such an insular Irish-centric lifestyle, all her boyfriends of consequence were Irish. My Mother met my Dad at the ONLY American dance she ever went to and unexpectedly married outside the Irish culture to someone of German descent! I think it really upset my Grandparents that neither child married Irish.

    In my Mother's family, there were constant and endless discussions about "The old country," which took me years to figure out what they were referring to. When I finally did, I suggested they move back, which really got me into trouble. Conversely, my German grandparents were not so nostalgic, which I am sure was the consequences of the wars.

    Thanks Bob for giving new credence to Mother's stories of her youth.
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
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  • Post #15 - October 20th, 2004, 9:59 am
    Post #15 - October 20th, 2004, 9:59 am Post #15 - October 20th, 2004, 9:59 am
    Bob, thanks for sharing your wonderful memories. Like Cathy, my 100% German dad dated "across the tracks" in Milwaukee and married my Irish mom. These stories show how the American culture is evolving. Like you, my dining out experiences were rare as a child. There are 5 kids in our family and we all grew up thinking the only item on the Dairy Queen menu was a single-dip vanilla cone. Loved your story,
    Jane :)
  • Post #16 - August 31st, 2006, 9:39 am
    Post #16 - August 31st, 2006, 9:39 am Post #16 - August 31st, 2006, 9:39 am
    I discovered this long-abandoned thread in the course of—what else?—searching for something completely unrelated (white hots in Rochester, NY). I found the idea of the thread exemplary, the posts fascinating, and so decided to revive it by unbaring my soul (well, okay, maybe not my soul. Some things are best left undisbared.)

    I am Gypsy Boy. No, I have no gypsy blood in me (that I know of). Nor do my family roots take me in that direction. I do suppose, however, that food being food, family is the place to begin. Three of my grandparents came from what is today Belarus, the fourth from Lithuania, via London. All from the Jewish Pale of Settlement which is significant because I grew up in a kosher home completely unexposed to a wide range of foods. I don’t think I had bacon, to cite one simple example, until at least some time in college. And I probably wasn’t exposed too much in the way of “ethnic” food until I was well into my 30s (some two decades ago). Of course, growing up in Buffalo and Rochester, NY, in the 50s and 60s, it’s not as if there were wonderfully exotic ethnic cuisines available to the public, generally speaking. In retrospect, there was undoubtedly a substantial German/Eastern European population in Buffalo back then, but I can’t recall ever going to a restaurant that served such cuisine. Going out to dinner meant “American” food or, on occasion, Italian food. I don’t even recall hitting the ubiquitous Chinese chop suey joint for the simple reason that my dad is a meat-and-potatoes guy. Although he has become more adventurous since, expanding his culinary horizons was never high on his list—and so we happily chowed down on burgers, fries, and so forth (but never a burger and a shake).

    Eating at home was always satisfying but rarely exotic. Mom is a great cook (sadly, her mother, born in Russia, was pretty much limited to opening a mean can of tuna) but that didn’t (and doesn’t) translate into anything unusual. We were good honest Americans eating good honest American food for the most part. Off-the-beaten-track meant Ashkenazic/Russian Jewish things—and even then, only a relatively small selection.

    Going away to college (Cleveland, OH), grad school (southern California), and law school (Madison, WI) did the trick. Cleveland, even in the late 60s, early 70s, had a pretty fair selection. Little Italy was a ten-minute walk from campus and the car we bought for $300 my senior year enabled all sorts of excursions. I had Chinese now for the first time ever. And yet, I had only began to scratch the surface of gustatory delight. College meant the beginning of my culinary devotions, though, as I routinely made pizzas to sell my senior year. Claremont, in southern California, was not a bastion of unusual cuisine in the ‘70s and ‘80s but it was less than an hour to downtown LA. I also happened to have roommates from Iran and from Nigeria. Eyes began opening. Madison had even more exotic fare (even in the mid 80s) and it was there, I guess, that unusual things began to be sampled.

    Still, it was coming to Chicago in 1986 that really opened my eyes. I came here for my first honest job after the Ph.D. and the law degree and have been here ever since. Private corporate practice for about five years and then with the feds for the last fifteen. I was introduced to Chowhound through a friend I made combining two of my real passions: travel and food. I was quite active in something called Virtual Tourist, a board allowing you to post pics, tips, and travelogues about your peregrinations. I made some very good friends through that board and it was at a dinner with a group of them (at Paprikas) that someone told me about Chowhound. The rest, as they say, is history. Between my own regular investigations and the new tips I was given, Chicago quickly became a cornucopia of exotica begging to be sampled.

    I am a voracious reader—particularly of foreign fiction. I am an extremely devoted fan of classical music (actually, most music). Indeed, one of my favorite kinds of music is Eastern European gypsy music (hence the Board name). Both interests lead and led me to fascination with the rest of the world. And thus, to travel. It began with a simple trip to Switzerland and Vienna in 1990. After that, there was no stopping me. The 90s were a peripatetic decade, concluding with my being sent to Egypt in 1998 and Romania in 1999 to advise those governments on some stuff. I had such a truly wonderful time seeing Romania and meeting the people that I went back for three weeks the next year, rented a car, and drove myself around…, eating all the time. Then Nepal, then Russia…and then, in 2002, in a serious attempt to avoid seeing or hearing from anyone I knew (I was turning 50 in the most traumatic way possible), I decided to visit Tibet. And life being the extraordinary adventure that it is, I met Renee, a/k/a the Lovely Dining Companion, who back then was a features writer for the LA Times. How many people have to shlep all the way to Tibet to meet the love of their lives?

    But enough about me. I know would I would enjoy reading about others; the Great Olive Oil Tasting reminded me how interesting it is to learn about some of the people whose assistance, contributions, and thoughts I read and enjoy daily.
    Gypsy Boy

    "I am not a glutton--I am an explorer of food." (Erma Bombeck)
  • Post #17 - August 31st, 2006, 10:23 am
    Post #17 - August 31st, 2006, 10:23 am Post #17 - August 31st, 2006, 10:23 am
    Of course, growing up in Buffalo and Rochester, NY, in the 50s and 60s, it’s not as if there were wonderfully exotic ethnic cuisines available in any event.


    Thanks for the very interesting post. You've probably already read Verlyn Klinkenborg's The Last Fine Time, but if not pick it up. It's main focus is on a corner tavern/restaurant/club in midcentury Buffalo and the Eastern European family who founded, expanded, and eventually closed it. A terrific read, too.
    "The fork with two prongs is in use in northern Europe. In England, they’re armed with a steel trident, a fork with three prongs. In France we have a fork with four prongs; it’s the height of civilization." Eugene Briffault (1846)
  • Post #18 - August 31st, 2006, 11:54 am
    Post #18 - August 31st, 2006, 11:54 am Post #18 - August 31st, 2006, 11:54 am
    eatchicago wrote:
    I was raised in West Rogers Park, one block from Devon & California.


    I grew up on Richmond, just south of Lincoln. Went to Jamieson and then Mather. First job i was hired and fired was Wolfy's. Graduated from Mather in '71. The Better Brother(just a nasty rumor) graduated in '68. Were either of us in the same class?
  • Post #19 - August 31st, 2006, 12:01 pm
    Post #19 - August 31st, 2006, 12:01 pm Post #19 - August 31st, 2006, 12:01 pm
    RevrendAndy wrote:
    eatchicago wrote:
    I was raised in West Rogers Park, one block from Devon & California.


    I grew up on Richmond, just south of Lincoln. Went to Jamieson and then Mather. First job i was hired and fired was Wolfy's. Graduated from Mather in '71. The Better Brother(just a nasty rumor) graduated in '68. Were either of us in the same class?


    Revrend,

    Short answer: No.

    Long answer: You graduated from Mather before I was born.
    I had no intention of trying to make you feel old, but you asked for it ;)

    Best,
    Michael
  • Post #20 - August 31st, 2006, 12:23 pm
    Post #20 - August 31st, 2006, 12:23 pm Post #20 - August 31st, 2006, 12:23 pm
    Gypsy Boy wrote: I am an extremely devoted fan of classical music (actually, most music). Indeed, one of my favorite kinds of music is Eastern European gypsy music (hence the Board name).


    Gypsy Boy, don't know if you're familiar with this album, but check out "Boheme" by Deep Forest. I think it's your kind of music.
  • Post #21 - August 31st, 2006, 12:28 pm
    Post #21 - August 31st, 2006, 12:28 pm Post #21 - August 31st, 2006, 12:28 pm
    Thanks alot EatChicago. Guess I'll just grab my beautiful Henkel chefs knife and fall on it!
  • Post #22 - August 31st, 2006, 12:38 pm
    Post #22 - August 31st, 2006, 12:38 pm Post #22 - August 31st, 2006, 12:38 pm
    RevrendAndy wrote:Gypsy Boy, don't know if you're familiar with this album, but check out "Boheme" by Deep Forest. I think it's your kind of music.


    Thank you, sir. I don't know the group but will investigate.

    In the interim, here's a link to offer an example (you want mu002_trk03.mp3). It's the well-known (in certain circles, I guess) Hungarian group Muszikas performing old Jewish music from Transylvania (once Hungarian, now Romanian). This is a pretty straightforward example of the kind of thing I mean. Enjoy!
    Last edited by Gypsy Boy on February 4th, 2008, 7:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
    Gypsy Boy

    "I am not a glutton--I am an explorer of food." (Erma Bombeck)
  • Post #23 - August 31st, 2006, 1:12 pm
    Post #23 - August 31st, 2006, 1:12 pm Post #23 - August 31st, 2006, 1:12 pm
    My real name is Julianna, and I live in Bucktown, by way of Lakeview, by way of Saratoga Springs, NY, by way of South FL. I grew up in S FL, got my undergrad degree in Theatre from Skidmore College, and recently completed my Masters in Arts Management at Columbia College Chicago. I am married and live, quite happily, with my husband and two cats.
    I come from a family of foodies, but art, theatre and music are my true passions. I currently work as a Marketing/Public Relations Coordinator for a theatre group here in Chicago, my husband works in theatre also as a Production Coordinator for a theatre in the 'burbs. I have always been a voracious reader, self-taught at 3, apparently, and am also a lover of animals .
  • Post #24 - August 31st, 2006, 5:23 pm
    Post #24 - August 31st, 2006, 5:23 pm Post #24 - August 31st, 2006, 5:23 pm
    Julianna -

    What theatre company?

    Do I know you?

    Real name mark. Former artistic director, City Lit Theater. Currently jobbing actor most recently at Timeline, Writers, Remy-Bumppo.

    Eastern european Jewish grandparents: maternal gm guiding light and divine cook in a Czech/Polish/Ashkenaz-meets-the-New York Times sort of way. Mother took the NYT part further. Great food in our house (NYC suburb) growing up in the 60s-70s, but either very Jewish, or very NYT refined. A Spanish, Scandinavian, or Indian dinner in Manhattan was a BIG EXOTIC DEAL. We understood Northern Italian food to be more sophisticated, refined, and therefore better than peasanty, garlicky southern Ital. food. We understood Szechuan chinese to be hotter, and therefore more "authentic" than the other. (Given that the other was all suburban Mandarin/Cantonese, that was probably true.) Footnote: my mother actually speaks Chinese and is an editor specializing in Far Eastern art/textiles/ceramics, but didn't actually travel there till late in life.

    Like Gypsy, I am passionate about classical music, also jazz and love many (though I can't say most) kinds of music in general. I play a mean classical guitar. (By "mean" I mean cruel, the sound of it will hurt you.) Also a passionate reader, though fatherhood and age have combined to whittle away at my attention span. Attempt less than I used to and retain little, it seems.

    College brought me food and wine. More specifically, one college teacher and mentor brought me to food and wine, to the point where it made my parents somewhat uneasy -- fancy restaurants, wine talk and gourmet shops being a bit more frivolous and trendy-seeming than my over-achieving, depression childhood parents are quite comfortable with, though they have come round quite a bit.

    It's quittin' time, here at the ol' day job. So I'm quittin'. Looking forward to learning more about more folks. (Most recent meals I have yet to post on are: Zad - middle eastern in Lakeview, Hopleaf (like there's anything left to say), and a heart-warming return to my old home-away-from-home, The Athenian Room, after several years: You can go home again. Home is where, when you go there, it tastes just like the last time, however long ago that was.
    "Strange how potent cheap music is."
  • Post #25 - September 6th, 2006, 12:48 pm
    Post #25 - September 6th, 2006, 12:48 pm Post #25 - September 6th, 2006, 12:48 pm
    How did I miss this thread?!

    I'm Joan... Foodie1. I lived in Waukegan for most of my life up until January 2006, when I moved to Lincoln Park as a result of a new job in the loop.

    As a Canadian-born Filipina, I grew up eating rice with every meal, every day until I broke free from my mom's kitchen when I was old enough to drive. From there, I was determined to find new cuisines to introduce my taste buds to. Besides, variety is the spice of life!

    I found LTHForum through a Google search for a review of a Filipino eatery in Chicago. Since then, I've been hooked to LTH as a means to broaden my foodie spectrum.

    Dining out is mainly a reason for me to find dishes I can replicate in my own kitchen and it's helped me to sharpen my cooking skills. At home, I cook a lot of asian dishes that stem from Filipino, Thai, Chinese, Korean, Japanese cuisine. I'm also an avid baker during the fall months and a personal cake decorator for my 5 year old niece ... since she gives me a reason to whip of cakes and decorate them in creative ways.

    LTHForum has been a great board to learn from and has definitely helped me find some real great eats around the city and beyond. As a result, I've been spreading the word to friends and family in hopes they learn from our posters as much as I do. I also plan on participating more in future LTH events and look forward to meeting more LTH'ers too!

    Thanks for everyone for their informative posts... it's been helpful and I appreciate it!
  • Post #26 - September 6th, 2006, 1:22 pm
    Post #26 - September 6th, 2006, 1:22 pm Post #26 - September 6th, 2006, 1:22 pm
    Hi,
    I'm messycook, aka Alex and I've been part of LTH since its split from Chowhound. I tend to come and go from the forum according to how busy I am at work (obviously there isn't much going on today!) Work, by the way, is as a child and family therapist; I graduated from Boston College in 01, MA in counseling psychology and have been licensed for a few years now. While I'm currently at a residential treatment center for teenagers, I do some private practice on the side (referrals, anyone? :wink: )

    I first got into the Chowhound site in Boston, and then we moved to Chicago in 2003. The first people we met were fellow LTH'ers and were so welcoming to us.

    Long before that I was into food, cooking, eating out, reading about cooking, reading other things, making pottery, and traveling. Some of my first memories are of making 'Spice Soup' at my grandmother's house where I was given a big bowl of water and allowed to mix whatever spices I wanted into it. Maternal side of the family are wonderful cooks and just last year my mom made my wedding cake.

    I gave myself the username messycook, because that's exactly how I am when making things (pottery, food, writing....) The kitchen is a truly disaster when I'm finished. If I could get a handle on digital photography someday, I will post pictures of what it looks like. My husband happily puts up with it (and will clean up behind me) because of what emerges from the mess, most days! I am getting better but hope to always keep learning.

    Thanks for digging up this thread, gypsy!
  • Post #27 - September 6th, 2006, 1:59 pm
    Post #27 - September 6th, 2006, 1:59 pm Post #27 - September 6th, 2006, 1:59 pm
    Hello all.

    I discovered this board a couple years back...has it really been that long?
    First a chowhounder with the handle *malcarne*(which I've since re-deployed for my regular LJ blogging). Jim Leff and I kept coming to loggerheads over ridiculous b.s. so I opted out of the forum before I was 86'd.

    *maybe it would've been a notch on my belt to get canned from the fiefdom, but...eh....whatever*

    Chowhound appears rehabilitated post-revamp so I'm tacitly keeping an eye on it and posting under a new nom de plume. Also, I have the decompression of Livejournal with which to express my more not-ready-for-primetime rants.

    Overall tho'- I dig LTH; chowhound tends towards the plebian, where, here one finds the sort of critical rigor(and self-reflexivity) I prize in everything from fine art to literature to music to film to food.

    I'm in my early 30's. As I've opined perhaps too often on this site, I'm a Texan/Houstonian...family goes back many generations(in Tejas and is even further traceable to a certain Scotsman who was imprisoned in Turkey during the Crusades...add in some quintessential Texas Czech and a dram of vague Russian ...you get a guy who people have always mistaken for whatever ethnicity other than Republic of...I've gotten French, I've gotten Russian...never Scots and NEVER Texan...no accent to speak of...heh...except when I pepper my conversations with y'all) and supposedly has ties with Jim Bowie of Alamo & knife fame. At an early age my grandfather r.i.p. introduced me to his dual culinary loves: cajun/creole cuisine and authentic Chinese. Opa was sent to a turn-of-the-century Louisiana orphanage as a boy only to be horribly abused and thrown down a flight of stairs breaking both his legs. His subsequent love of all things bayou country is/was testament to the ability to rise above circumstance. He also eventually became CEO of a generator company with close ties to Texas Instruments.

    My personal adventures in gastronomy began during my college years...quick aside: my family moved from Houston to rural Ohio when I was 16...I immediately dropped out, got my G.E.D., and enrolled at Ohio University in Athens. CV: deeply involved in early-90's queer-gender theory/activism, time-based multi-disciplinary fine arts installation work, film/video, yadda yadda yadda...tho' I had always cooked my mom's dishes(beef veg. soup, Texas chili, swiss steak, lasagne) I was *majorly* inspired during a Thanksgiving thrown by some friends...so began my real culinary explorations. I can pinpoint specific meals-sense memories across the years, each a "wow" moment that further catalyzed my investigations. I now apply the same critical inquiry once reserved for the arts/politics to all things edible. To the extent that I'm considering going back to school either in food-history/theory of and/or kitchen science a la Kendall.

    I simply cannot be satiated when it comes to discussion of food, something that previously only occurred with transgressive semiotics, photography, lit, and film.

    My partner and I have been together going on 9 years...he's an Illinois-an living in Chicago for quite some time whereas I began visiting the city over 15 years ago and have resided here for the last 10.

    thanks to all for this unique fount of engaging, exciting discussion...and here's to further development
    Last edited by Christopher Gordon on April 1st, 2010, 7:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
    "Johnny thought when all purpose had been forgotten the world would end this way, with a dance. He slumped back in a corner, drew his knees up to his chin, and watched."-Derek Jarman
  • Post #28 - September 6th, 2006, 3:16 pm
    Post #28 - September 6th, 2006, 3:16 pm Post #28 - September 6th, 2006, 3:16 pm
    Christopher Gordon wrote: "I can pinpoint specific meals-sense memories across the years, each a "wow" moment..."

    That might be a fun thread: specific "wow" moments seared in the culinary memory, what comprised the moment, and what it meant to you.

    (We could also start a transgressive culinary semiotics thread, but, unlike Christopher, I imagine that I might become satiated.)

    My top-of-mind "wows" are:
    * my first Barolo (hence the handle), and my first Riesling Auslese
    * my first taste of Chinese spare ribs (Sun Luck in Manhattan)
    * my first Indian meal (Ganges, near Paddington: papadam, various nan, shrimp rogan josh, duck dopiaza)
    * helping to prepare a meal for the first time with my mentor in most things at school, and, having been assigned basil tearing as my prep-task, lifting my first glass of white cotes du rhone to my lips and the smell of the basil on my hands mingling with the scent of the wine as I took the first sip...oh my.
    * the smell of a tiny Italian grocery in Old Compton St., London where little old ladies made fresh tortellini (though I'm from NYC, my childhood did not include visits to such establishments, so this, in '79, was my first time breathing in that telltale aroma of cheese, bread, salami and all their various yeasts and molds)

    Anyone else?
    "Strange how potent cheap music is."
  • Post #29 - September 6th, 2006, 5:19 pm
    Post #29 - September 6th, 2006, 5:19 pm Post #29 - September 6th, 2006, 5:19 pm
    Great idea :)

    Perhaps you can initiate the sub-thread outside of this one beginning with the above post. Once I get started I'm sure I'll move from my formative culinary experiences into an unending list of simply amazing food.
    "Johnny thought when all purpose had been forgotten the world would end this way, with a dance. He slumped back in a corner, drew his knees up to his chin, and watched."-Derek Jarman
  • Post #30 - September 6th, 2006, 5:26 pm
    Post #30 - September 6th, 2006, 5:26 pm Post #30 - September 6th, 2006, 5:26 pm
    Gypsy Boy wrote:
    RevrendAndy wrote:Gypsy Boy, don't know if you're familiar with this album, but check out "Boheme" by Deep Forest. I think it's your kind of music.


    Thank you, sir. I don't know the group but will investigate.

    In the interim, here's a link to offer an example. It's the well-known (in certain circles, I guess) Hungarian group Muszikas performing old Jewish music from Transylvania (once Hungarian, now Romanian). This is a pretty straightforward example of the kind of thing I mean. Enjoy!


    Have you checked out any of Marta Sebestyen's solo work? If you like Muzsikas, you should definitely like her solo stuff. If you like Balkan Gypsy brass music, I'd suggest checking out the work of Boban Markovic, if you haven't already. Also, in his vain but a little more varied stylistically, is Goran Bregovic. The soundtracks to the movies "Underground" and "Black Cat White Cat" by Emir Kusturica (who also has his own Balkan band, No Smoking) would be good introductions to all of these groups.

    Also worth checking out is the Hungarian band Besh O Drom, which brings together Hungarian, Balkan, Gypsy, Greek, Romanian, etc..., influences together in their music.

    A little closer to Muzikas's style is Makam. Unfortunately, the English site doesn't seem to be up, but if you click on "Magam CD-k," you'll find two audio links to complete songs. They're more Hungarian folk than gypsy, but should be up your alley.

    Anyhow, enough music talk.

    I'm Binko/Peter. I don't remember how I first came across this board, although I think it was probably through an article in the Tribune. I'm 31, live in Archer Heights, born to Polish parents, lived for over five years in Budapest before returning to Chicago in late 2003. I'm a photographer by profession--anybody who cares can see my work by clicking the WWW below my post and going to Gallery > Nonwedding work (weddings are a relatively new direction for me).

    I mostly came to this site to reacquaint myself with Chicago. I like to get to know a city through its food and, even though I've lived here most of my life, I spent most my adult life abroad, thus I felt a bit lost when I returned to this city. Thanks to the LTH, though, I've since found my footing again and learned a whole lot along the way.

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